It’s not light, but nothing turns the gnarliest trail to butter like Marzocchi’s 44 RC3 Ti. The 44 chassis with QR15 screw-through axle is adequately stiff, but it’s the outrageous small bump smoothness of the titanium coil spring that sucks extra traction out of corners or rocky/rooty chunder.
Easy oil flow swallows larger, faster hits and landings with equal greed too. In fact we regularly thought we must have punctured the front tyre during testing because the front end felt so smooth. Unless you’re a fanatical weight watching summit hunter, the extra weight the oil rich internals add is more than offset by the increased speed and confidence they give on technical trails.
Riders who like a firmer feel to rail round corners on or limit deeper travel have two tuning choices. They can add air preload to the coil spring at the expense of small bump smoothness or master the art of taming the combined high speed and low speed compression dial to their personal preference. Both approaches require a fair amount of patience to get them totally dialled, but the time spent is more than worth it for the limousine standard ride they can deliver.
Not only is the fork covered by a three-year warranty but our 2011 44 was the only long-term fork in its category we had no reliability issues with, despite us deliberately giving it to the most abusive and aggressive riders in our test team.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.